Everyone knows that sleep, water and eating less junk helps to reduce dark circles under the eyes, but if you’ve done all that and your bags are still a problem, read this.
We asked skincare and makeup specialists to share their tips for getting rid of dark circles for real.
1. Remove your makeup gently. You might not have sensitive skin, but as Alison Wait, Senior Education Manager at Medik8 explains, the skin around your eyes should be treated as such. “The skin around the eyes is a little different from that on the rest of your face. It’s more delicate and vulnerable due to a slightly thinner structure, and a lack of oil-producing sebaceous glands make it less moist and supple than the rest of the skin, creating less of a protective skin barrier.” Harsh makeup removers and excessive wiping can cause inflammation and dry out the skin so gentle products are a must. Try Trilogy Sensitive Very Gentle Cleansing Cream, $46.99; or Estee Lauder Take It Away Gentle Eye & Lip Longwear Makeup Remover, $56.
2. Invest in retinol for the eyes. The eye area used to be a no-go zone with retinol, but modern formulations have made it safe. “Not only improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots, Medik8’s Retinol Eye TR provides the eye area with a brightened, revitalised appearance,” says Alison. Try Medik8 Retinol Eye TR, $129; or Ultraceuticals Ultra A Perfecting Eye Cream, $120.
3. Consider allergies. Some people can have dark rings under the eyes due to allergies but not even realise that’s the cause. If your bags are severe it’s worth getting an allergy test. Taking a mild antihistamine before bed will quickly tell you whether it is allergy related as you’d see an improvement by morning.
4. Up your night time moisture. Give your skin all it needs to repair while you sleep by using a richer eye cream at night. Try Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Premiere Intense Moisture and Renewal Regeneration Eye Cream, $121.
5. Get your daily peptide quota. Peptides are the vital ingredient you need in your eye care routine as they urge the skin to create more collagen. “When cell communicator actives [peptides] are added to the skin, they get absorbed and connect with various receptor sites within the skin. Specific peptides will ‘hook up’ on the cell receptors, and, in the case of fibroblast cells, will communicate with it to produce more reticular, collagen and elastin fibres,” explains Alison. Try Medik8 Eyelift Age-Defying Eye Firming Gel, $99.
6. Use an eye mask. So you’ve got your Sunday night face mask routine, but what about the eyes? Eye patches deliver both immediate and long term results. “Many patches on the market deliver a high concentration of actives such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and plant extracts, all chosen specifically to treat the delicate skin around the eyes by softening lines, reducing puffiness and helping to lighten under eye circles,” says Alison. Try Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkleresist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask, $95.
7. Try the tea bag trick. For instant puff reduction before an event, roll out grandma’s tea bag technique. Tea contains caffeine, and caffeine — being a diuretic — is an instant solution to water retention under the eye area. Activate the tea by soaking them in boiling water for a few minutes, and allow to cool before placing them on your lids.
8. Use your own blood. In a Platelet Rich Plasma treatment (often called PRP for short), a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s body, placed in a machine to separate it and then re-injected into the problem area. “PRP uses the healing parts of your own blood to tell stem cells to repair the tissues at a cellular level, hence actually creating more youthful skin,” says Dr Catherine Stone of The Face Place. “Improving the skin’s texture, thickness and luminosity results in a reduction of fine lines and a less tired look around the eyes. The results are cumulative, so repeated treatments often give even better results.”
9. Reduce alcohol. Know that splitting headache you get after a night on the rosé? It’s dehydration. Alcohol is one of the worst dehydrators out there, so try to reduce your per day intake, and if you can’t, then at least up your evening water intake to (partially) counteract the damage. Try Osmosis Harmonized H2O Hangover ($78), with frequencies that balance alcohol vibrations and allow for the normal function of cells after alcohol consumption.
10. Take your vitamins. Collagen production slows down as you age. Taking supplementary collagen will help keep your skin plump and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Try Go Healthy Go Beautiful Skin Collagen Support, $49.90.
11. Double up your concealer. Benefit national brow artist Sarah Taiapa-Bell recommends using two different concealers to give you maximum coverage. “Use a brightening concealer that has a peach undertone first as this will help counteract any blue tones under the eyes. Apply directly onto the darkness and use a tapping motion with your finger to really warm the concealer into your skin. On top of this add a lighter hydrating concealer to help brighten the under eye area — blend it in using upward strokes.” Try Benefit Boi-ing Brightening Concealer $38; and Benefit Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer $38.
12. Create a distraction. If your bags are still stopping traffic despite your efforts to cover them, create a distraction by making your brows the focus. “A pair of bold brows is going to help draw attention away from those dark circles,” says Sarah. “To start, use an eyebrow pencil or shadow to create defined brows, and then finish with luminous highlighter on the brow bone and blend upwards. The highlight is going to instantly lift the entire eye area and do the magic!” Try Benefit KaBrow ($44); and Benefit High Brow ($38).